FRAME 17 STORIES

Song of the Road

Agnivo Niyogi

Misty eyed on a teary road
Journey began
I nervously rode
On the pillions of hope
Rousing to dust, notions galore.
I walked a thousand miles,
Before sleep invited me…
On the road not taken, I met
Fate. Together on a sojourn
for the unconquered,
unforeseen avenues…..
Riders of the dark
Waiting to board…
End I know not, circle ends…but where?
Freedom I wish not, salvation seeks me.
Wishes die, hopes resurrect.
Life watches as…
I move on

Mirage

Y.Padmanabhan

Ram was driving back home with his family after a short holiday at a resort in the neighboring forest.
'How peaceful and serene the atmosphere was, at the resort. Now, from tomorrow the same mundane life will begin sighed his wife. 'Yes, back to the routine grueling life with no peace' replied Ram.
Suddenly the music stopped on the radio and an announcement made-
'Some hardcore terrorists have reportedly taken five holidaymakers as hostages from the resort in the neighboring forest'. Ram stepped on the accelerator wiping the sweat from his forehead.

No way home

Sugandha

"We are definitely lost, Sumit. We haven't seen another car for an hour!"
"We are not lost, Shreya. Relax."
"Why didn't you ask someone on the way or get a damn map?”
"Stop cribbing for 5 minutes and enjoy the view, will you? I know where I'm going."
"We're in a bloody jungle, Sumit."
"Almost there."
It was almost more than he could bear to spend another minute with his nagging wife, but he knew his destination was further ahead. He needed to drive deeper into the woods before he could strangle her and bury her body.

The Long Road To Nowhere

Febin Mathew

Time had run out for Radha. The bills had mounted; the unnecessary spending had not stopped. The retail therapy did not even afford her a good night’s sleep any more. She needed to leave, and leave now.
Her bags were packed quickly, her latest acquisitions abandoned like so many unwanted gifts. She took the Endeavour. The one she liked best, her first big car.
She didn’t stop for much. Food, the occasional bathroom break. NH 42 stretched forward into the great beyond.
Not a single mall along the way. Temptation was scarce on the long road to nowhere.

The hunter or the hunted ?

Kirthi

"Someone has been stealing my spotlight. I need to get back in the game." he thought. There was a new serial killer in town nicknamed 'The Doctor'. He wondered why, just as he slowed down his car for his next victim. A female hitchhiker on the lonely road through the woods. Perfect. "I am lost" she said. "Don't worry. You could spend the night at my place" he replied. "I readied the basement just for you" he thought to himself. "Thanks a lot" she said. She slid her hand into her purse and patted the scalpel reassuringly.

Strange couple

Rahul

Radhika : What happened honey?
Amish: No clue.
Radhika(shouts) : Do you ever have any clue about anything?
Amish(Shouts louder): most of the time I do,
But when you are around my brain stops functioning!!
Radhika(sarcastically): brains!! am sure you have!!
Radhika: heyy!! look at this view so romantic
Amish(chuckles): see, my car knows were to stop
Radhika: those trees are looking beautiful i want to go there!!!
Amish: ok as you wish!
Both went there. Suddenly a guy attacks and kills Amish.
The Killer Starts Laughing
Radhika: Stop laughing
You were late !!

The Invisible Death

Shoumik De

“This is as far as I can go, you are own your own from here Mr. Lloyd."
"Why Mr. Pillai?"
"Coz this place is not like it looks. It's filled with invisible crawling death."
"What do you mean?"
"Few years ago a mad scientist started mating chameleons with other dangerous lizards, like Komodo dragon and alligators. Legend has it that he was killed by his own creation. Even his body wasn’t found. I suggest you also don’t go."
“I must go Mr. Pillai.”
“But why?”
Mr. Lloyd started the jeep and said “because I must finish what I started.”

The beginning

Paro

He slowly eased the car away from the traffic and headed towards the forest.
The road stretched clean, clear and isolated.
The car slowed and slid to a stop.
"Are you ready. I'm not taking 'No' for an answer this time", he said.
"I'm scared,nervous. Let's go back. Please"
"You are going to do it. Don't make me force you"
He cajoled, persuaded, threatened.
Finally she gave in.
Nervously she touched the wheel, tapped the accelerator, felt the break and with a deep breath started her first driving lesson.

Me and my wife

Vikas

"Do you recognise this picture?" "C’mon it's just a random road through the Jungle. You can't be serious."
"Nope. Its not just any random road. By this time next week there will be hundreds of stories written about it."
"Oh crap, Its friday again and you are trying to submit one of your creepy stories right?."
"Maybe this time I will include you in my story, Make it more creepier."
"Only if you will feel comfortable sleeping on sofa for a week with that broken leg."
To be continued ...

A whole new world

Ullhas B Kulkarni

My photographer son Nidhi clicked the picture as we were driving to Panchgani and showed it to me.
The hazy line between sunshine and shade on the road caught my eye.
“That’s what life is all about, Nidhi,” I said, “sometimes bright, sometimes dark.”
“Not really dad,” he said, “look further. The narrow path ahead is an illusion. As you go ahead, it widens like the expanding horizon. And there’s greenery all around. Life is the same. The path ahead looks narrow, but as you move ahead, new avenues open up. There’s a whole new world waiting for you.”

Forrest Dump

Onkar

“Beautiful! So romantic! If only it were just the two of us.” thought she.
“Crap! I should’ve avoided this trip.” thought her daughter.
“Amazing view! This shall be my cover photo! Where’s my DSLR?” thought her son.
“Shouldn’t you check the car before hiring? But no, nobody listens to me.” thought the grandfather.
“Will this be my last trip? Like this road, who knows what lies on the next turn of life?” thought the grandmother.
“Damn, there’s no network. Where’s this driver gone to get water?” thought her husband.
Not far off, Driver and his gang loaded their guns.

The Lift

Venkatesh G

“It was becoming dark. The trees made it darker. It was the road that I normally avoided. I heard a howl. Or so I thought. I felt edgy. In the distance, I saw a woman. Clad in white. Hair in disarray. Eyes glinting like a cat. I said a quick prayer, fastened the seat belt and raced. But then she threw herself in front of my car..”
“My heart pounded and I almost wetted my pants. Not knowing what to do next. She came near. Starred at me. And hugged me tightly. And that’s how I met your mother”

Roads least travelled

Shakti Shetty

Running away from home was a tough decision. The lack of money wasn’t bothering him as his disdain for this world helped. On the other hand—or leg, if you may given the journey was going to be a long one like this sentence—his worries were geographical. He wanted to be somewhere north—cold, colonial and calm—but he wasn’t sure. After all, he also wanted to be somewhere northeast—hilly, harsh and harmonious—but then again, he wasn’t sure. What if he didn’t make it? Similarly, wasn’t it too late to not find a brand new home?

Highway to hell

Skanda Krishnan

“Had it not been the late night party a day before”, that's the only thought I had before pushing the throttle and cruising to Goa through the empty roads with my wife beside me. Loud music, windows down we both singing and all of a sudden to my shock I had to brake and I could only pray we were safe. I open my eyes and saw my wife's hands over him like seat belts.

Highway to Hell

Matilda Briggs

She rolled down the car windows letting the wind dry her tears. Five years ago, in that very same car, she was sobbing hysterically. She dreaded leaving her family behind and staying in a hostel, far away from home. Amidst the drudgery of academia, she built her own tiny universe that also included "him". And now, as she was finally going back, it dawned on her that she was leaving her home behind. "He" was her home now. The road ahead that was taking her away from him seemed nothing more than a highway-to-hell.

Companion

Sumit Ganjave

What are beautiful people who come in our life?
They are like the smell of tuberose while you are traveling through endless roads, you don’t know where it is coming from, intermittent yet irresistible. You have two choices; halt to find what this smell is? Or just continue your journey. You chose to find the source and get to know it. You get so impressed that you realize, this is the supremacy we all strive to uncover. You take the source as your companion and make your journey more colorful, enjoyable and amazing. The road well traveled with you.

Highway Scenes

Mehak Angothiwala

He drives his swanky car mindlessly on the highway. Music in his car is loud enough to burst any average eardrums. He pulls out his last cigarette which he will smoke till his fingertips burn. He seems a strong man but was he strong enough to watch them go? "Damn you and your children" he had said not meaning a word. All in anger she should've understood. But it was too late to make up for the mistake he had made. Not even he knows if all he wants is her or just another pack of cigarettes.

Road to Destiny

Sumi

The tires of the car glided seamlessly over the asphalt. He turned up the stereo and let the music consume him. He hated these lonely drives. He was an urban boy and such picturesque Nature unnerved him. He identified with the road, smooth and lonely in this verdant desert. Desert, because it was unimaginably wild and heartbreakingly forlorn. He was racing towards her, his soul mate.
He would meet his destiny sooner than he anticipated. Just around the curve, he would meet another human being, Muthu the inebriated lorry driver, in a head-on collision that would make headline news.

The Destination

Vivek

The never-ending road that I once took had brought me here.
How long do I have to travel? I don’t know.
Where am I headed?
Will this lead to peace forever or a better next life? I don’t know.
Which turn to take, what lies at the end. Who can tell me?
The curious questions get even more curious with every moment that passes and yet there’s no answer that I get.
Or am I supposed to ask no question and just walk?
Because there is no destination, just a journey called life.

Paradigm

Chandni Roy

I
am floating
in the crimson sea
of an emerald love.

You
are watching me
from under an azure sky
standing afar on the tawny shore.

I,
In a trance
Swim across to you
Mesmerized by your beacon.

You
Take me by the hand
And lead me along a road
Stretched out under a green canopy.

We,
Are homeward bound,
Leaving our unfading footprints
On the asphalt of time
For the posterity to follow.

Peace and I.

The moving road

Neil

"What the hell! Again back at the same spot, same corner? How could it be?" He kept thinking. A wandering nomad, a gypsy at heart he was. Is it the road or the milestone that betrayed him? Maybe the very destination; but then the nomads don't have any.
"The moving road?" He thought. It's not being stuck that got him worried; it’s not being able to leave a part of him.
If only he knew that a straight road is nothing but a small curve of a large circle!
Yeah! You meet yourself, eventually. It’s always a journey within.

Road Haunted

Jayashree Aanand Gajjam

It’s haunted!
It’s the same road in the university campus that has witnessed a rape-incident of one of the students by her friends at night during her eighteenth birthday party.
It’s the same road that has witnessed the new police constable Miss. Neeta’s surveillance of the area for security reasons after the incident.
It’s morning!
The same road is witnessing, Neeta, a rape-victim by her authorities, standing alone with her mouth shut, bursting with the rage of anger and shame within, with the hope that it will witness the justice tomorrow.

Pathway to have one

Ashwini Dodani

Aryan was a blessed boy.
With an immense empathy for everyone around, he was good to everyone he met.
Though he was going through a struggling phase in his life.
On a bright day, one of his best friends went missing.
He was worried and stepped out to find that friend.
Miles passed but he couldn't find that friend.
It was his own "worry" which went missing, while he found the path to happiness.
So to find the real path to happiness, you need to have one realized.

Ye Dooriyan

Ranjeeta S

Sometimes…distance between two people is complex…sometimes you can’t even travel to a person who is sitting next to you, at the distance of a stretched arm!! That someone, who has been with you for all these years but yet never there.
Kavya has touched the pinnacle of her thoughts and returned back, but Rishi was still there cold and unaware of her storms, behind the wheel. Again they spent their anniversary hitting the highway as every year, but this time, something between them has changed, forever!

Soldier

Shruti Gupta

The war ended and it was time for the brave soldiers to return home. Covered beautifully in shade of green, this road takes him home. For once he so wanted to travel this road away from home to the land of his dreams and now he is travelling the same road in reverse direction towards the home. Happier than the previous journey; contented. The rolling tires and trees passing by, reminded him of his battle, battle for water, food, books, clothes, marks and passing the exams.
Yes! This soldier is none else but a student staying in the hostel.

A Journey of love

Shruti

A long drive that takes them away from the city, from the worldly bounds to strings of love. Married for 20 years, every anniversary they took time for this drive.
This was the road that united them, a journey, which made strangers into partners.
She sat next to him smiling and talking, he had eagerly waited for this trip because this was the only journey, the only road that could make her remember him.
She who suffered from dementia!!

The Road of Hope

Dinesh Chandar

The road was long, deserted and quiet. The fallen leaves lay rested across its borders only to be ruffled by one of those fallen men on bikes passing by. This man looked hefty just as his bike known for its thump - the deafening thump that can drown the chaos of mind, the noise of reality and the loud cry of a loss with the helmet covering the river of tears. They say, roads are for the hopeless but for him, all roads lead him to the land of unknown hope and known dreams!

Who Made This?

T V Sravan Kumar

Once called “king of the jungle”, Sher khan was walking through jungle, in search of family. He could not find his siblings, and now he is lost arriving at these dark & hard paths.
He then stares at this for a while thinking “Is this the way to my fellows? Who created this? Should I go this way?”
A blue Macaw while passing sees Sher khan and says “My king, it seems you are lost”.
“Hey Macaw, morning. Can you tell me where this path goes?” asks Sher khan.
“My king, this is laid by tiger poachers, humans. BEWARE”

A new beginning

Sejal

She kept walking.
She has been here.. Before.
But this time it was different.

The attraction that brought them together is impossible to explain.
It is untouched desire in its purest state.
But, a note changed her life.

As now, She carried a life, her extension within her.
Clasped her heart wanting to hear its echoes resounding within her.
She didn't have any second thought.

A road unforeseeable...
A road she chose for her child.
Being an unmarried Mom.

Returning the un-owned

Gaurav Aradhye

Gently adjusting the tripod on the road, while making sure no vehicle interfered, he remembered the life changing moment for him. The frame he was trying to capture did not belong to him. But he certainly felt the responsibility to pass it on to the prisoners of risk-free boring life. Few months ago he saw a similar picture and got inspired to set on an exciting journey leaving all the fears behind. He had never liked his routine. Now he does.

Our Path

Bhargavi Dev K

“We've come so far, please don’t leave now.”
“I have reached my destination. You've to go on.”
“The road ahead is long, a path unknown to me. I don’t know where it leads.”
“When we met, I was a stranger too. But we got to know each other. Like our own skin. Didn't we?”
“Exactly why I need you with me.”
“We changed. We aren't US any more. This journey isn't ours any more. It is yours alone.”
He stayed behind. He was home. She kept walking the path she hadn't taken before. She had to leave to live.

Going Solo

Namita

She stood there, satchel, backpack et al, albeit a bit nervous. This was not a backpacker’s trail. How would she make it to the city? This time there was no question of him driving her to the terminus. She started walking slowly, her mind rehashing the sequence of wiping all the doorknobs clean. Her rubber soled shoes were a blessing, she mused. By the time they found his body, she would be safely seated on a flight out of the country, her bank account replenished with a brand new passport. She was on her own now.

The Green Road

Ava

The green road is what I called it. It was a lovely stretch of road, smooth and polished, with green shrubs and trees growing abundantly on both sides of the road. My heart swelled when we took this road, my father at the wheel of the car, my mother sitting beside him. I would breathe in deep, look for the little cottage that stood among the trees, and imagined what life could be like, living there.

The Traveller

Prachi

His heart was pumping excitement in his body when he saw the road ahead. He'd escaped. How could he have stayed forever in a place which was bottling him into the abysmal essence of a small town?
He was born for the road. He was born for the journey. Who met the eye, was a hitchhiker. But he was a part of something greater that he set in motion with his escape.
He was the traveller. Driven by passion for the world. The roads led to everywhere and the roads were his. He wasn't home, but only just.

The Wanderer

Vijay Gupta

The child gazed at the road in amazement. He wondered where it could lead to. He was so excited that he kept turning around to look at it. "Stay still, boy," the photographer said as he clicked to capture a snap.
The child returned a week later to collect his photographs. He sneaked into the studio.
"Buildings? What happened to the road and the trees?" he was surprised.
"We change the background from time to time.”
He collected his envelope and happily walked back home.
“I want to wander,” his dream found him.

DeRide

Roshan D'Souza

Madhu’s dad had finally purchased a new motorcycle. But of course, he would not get to ride it because he was only sixteen and also because he was very reckless.
In a few days dad had to go on a business trip presenting Madhu the perfect opportunity to show off the new bike to his friends. They touched speeds of 100kmph on the state highway outside their town, till he skid and ended up in a heap in a ditch. Hitting the road took a new meaning. The crash didn’t kill him but he was sure his dad would.

Draconia

Monathais

This was not Under the Dome.
Neither Mystic Falls.
And still an invisible barrier stopped her from moving forward into the light. Silence played soliloquies with her mind. Temptation to just collapse in the middle of the road seemed as sweet as love at first sight.
The heavy breathing was getting close. With an effort beyond the adrenaline rush she jumped into freedom.
One second later, a heavy splash was heard.
She turned.
“For the record, schmuck, you don’t mess with a witch on her own territory.”
Her giggling sisters popped out of nowhere.
“Another blood sucker?”
“Dracula himself!”

Her Oasis

Ankita Chauhan

“Here, In the midst of the forest?” She asked him while fighting with past memories.
“Yes! You were such a child then, a wanderer, who smelled leaves, played with pebbles, pretended to fly as you were bird and you hugged each tree.” He interrupted and laughed.
“And you were so mature no? You made a bouquet of wild flowers, attached the whole bouquet in my braid and said..said..” she got blank with immovable eyes.
“You’re my life, Sweetness. It’s hard to breathe without you” He whispered.
She didn't react though, He was sure one day she’ll rediscover her oasis.

The lost trail

Nikki

It was very easy, right in front of me, the beautiful road, covered with serene greenery on both sides. I could have taken it and not regretted perhaps. This was the now and the future.
But the little lost trail, by the side of it, looked more promising. I wasn't used in ages and I couldn't see it clearly. But it called me with open arms. And I answered the call. I tightened my backpack and shoelaces and just started walking.
Because that's what I've always done, always taken the lesser know path because that's where I found myself.

Blind Side

The Oddfather

It had been a beautiful drive. I was tired, eager to reach the next town...
Suddenly, out of nowhere, an old man and a boy stepped right in front of my car, maybe a good fifteen feet ahead! My reflexes kicked in, my life flashed in front of my eyes, my foot slammed the brakes and the car stopped just in time!
I jumped out of the car and yelled expletives at the two of them. The old man turned blankly toward me, a protective arm around the boy and said, “We didn’t see you Saheb, we are blind.”

Fear Burrows

Sameer Shetty

The same road which took their brother away from them, fear kept them in their burrows for a while now. The rabbits are back around the road together and go on as it was but fear is not so easy to let go. A mere vibration of a car felt and they run for their burrows.

Stoned

Divya Iyer

I lie here in the middle of the road.
Few hours ago, I was lying on the roadside, minding my own business, when this snazzy red car stopped by me, and a young man stepped out. He lit up, smoked for a while. He was about to get back into the car, when he noticed me. He stared at me. Then picked me up, and chucked me down the road. I bounced a bit and halted. The car left.
I’m a pebble. I lie here in the middle of the road. And I think I like this view better.

The Lights

Avinash Shenoy

She was running towards the passing lights far away, hoping to survive.
Night was setting in, she was tired. Running and walking had taken their toll. She was scared, ready to give up. On seeing the lights, she summoned all her courage, and decided to walk on in the night. There was no passing light for few hours now; it was hope and instincts directing her now.
As morning sunlight set in, she was able to see what lay ahead. She had been walking on the road, and then a fast truck came crashing on her.
She woke up startled!

Blast From The Past

Madhavi Pujari

Transfixed by the wide concrete road which connected the remote village, where she dwelled, she remained unmoved by the honking, of the passing vehicles. All of 45, she recalled the treacherous route she had to take, crisscrossed by a river so as to attend school. Today's generation has it easy, she thought to herself. Shambhavi's, thought process; for that was her name, was cut short by terrible news. That of a college going guy losing his balance and getting drowned in the very same river, she used to cross each day. City slickers, she retorted.

Mates

Gairo

Mathematics says “2 parallel lines meet at infinity”.
Probably math got bored from its pal LOGIC, decided to flirt with PHILOSOPHY a little. Some powerful crap aye?
Someone wise once said, I’m paraphrasing here "two roads always meet somewhere". Well I don’t travel much so i daren’t annotate on that but I’m sure 'two sides of a road never meet'.
All their life(non-life) they remain abreast of each other but never actually felt one-another. Are they Man and Lady?
Maths changed its mood to provide them Hope that If they kept going, these Mates might meet at Infinity.

A Witness

Eshita Dey

Three months since the accident and Ayan was back on the same Road. The road which took away his Love and almost his Life. Leaving behind a scar. On his Face and in his Heart. The car started. The speed dial showed 65 kmph. Closing his eyes, he sought to welcome Death. Instead, saw his Angel.
"Live for Me."
She said, giving that heart-breaking smile.
The car screeched to a stop. Gripping the steering wheel, he bowed down his head. From miles away, a Man's piercing howls could be heard. The Road stood a helpless witness.

The Path of Life

Nidhi Shah

Life is like walking down this road, never really knowing what lies ahead or what will happen next, whether the obstacles, challenges, or difficulties that loom before us will help our journey or hinder it. Although we may not know where a particular road will lead or where the path will end, we do know that we have to choose a path, because we cannot stay in one place forever.

Shades

Vasanti

"Yes, I am the one who brings growth, harmony, life. I am more close to nature then anyone; I am a symbol of freshness. Who I am? Yes you are right, I am a color" I am green. I don't know why people discriminate each other looking upon their shades and colors. We are created to bring colors, happiness in each other's lives, then why people fight against each other on basis of color, we are made by mixing each color into other color, likewise you human beings should also stay mixed and connected with each other."

Wishful Thinking

Akshaya Pai

She remembered the last time she was on this road in her car. Enjoying the drive. The clouds in the sky, the wind in her hair. The smile on her face. She wished for the road to never end.
"Truck crashed into car on highway 18. 2 seriously injured and 1 casualty".
She's been haunting these roads ever since. Her wish was granted. Now, the road for her never ends.

Connecticut

Bhytu

A road connected two cities. Huge commotion; action and busyness defined it. But as technology grew the amount of travel lessened.
Personal and physical gatherings transgressed to indifferent virtual groupism.
Markets and shops vanished.
Shrubs and trees grew.
Often;seldom;rare to never stages went by.
A road;once a jugular vein to civilization lay barren and deserted as a symbol of advanced technology but failed humanity.

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